Blue Jays add depth with RHP Chatwood

January 21st, 2021

The Blue Jays on Thursday announced they have signed right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a 1-year, $3 million deal.

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported that the deal includes up to an additional $2.5 million in performance incentives, which the club did not confirm.

Chatwood, 31, is entering his 10th Major League season after previous stints with the Angels, Rockies and Cubs. He spent the last three years with the Cubs, finishing his North Side tenure with a 4.70 ERA across 67 appearances (30 starts) after signing with Chicago as a free agent prior to 2018.

Chatwood made five starts in 2020, finishing with a 5.30 ERA and a career-best 12.1 strikeout-per-nine-inning ratio across 18 2/3 innings.

While Chatwood has logged significant time as both a starter and a reliever, the Blue Jays are expected to use him out of the bullpen. That makes Chatwood the third arm the Blue Jays have added to their bullpen this offseason after right-hander A.J. Cole was brought back on a Minor League deal and right-hander Kirby Yates signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal. 

Chatwood has long contained upside thanks to the elite spin rates he possesses on both his fastball and curveball, but a lack of command has limited that promise as he has averaged 4.7 walks per nine innings across his career. The righty upped the usage of his cutter in 2020, and that pitch generated a miss on roughly 43 percent of opponents’ swings.

In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Anthony Castro for assignment. They had claimed the 25-year-old Castro from the Tigers in December. The club's 40-man roster now sits at a full 40, with another move required to create space for George Springer when his six-year, $150 million deal is made official.